Reducing teen crash rates

Teen Driving Fatalities During After School Hours

Listen up, parents. If you were worried about teenagers driving on the weekend nights with their friends, you’ll have new reasons to monitor teen driving after reading a recent press release by AAA. According to new research, teens are just about as likely to get into fatal accidents while driving during after school hours.

Teen drivers had 1,237 fatal accidents between 2002 and 2005 when driving on Friday and Saturday nights. But, what’s surprising is that there were almost just as many fatal accidents for weekdays between 3 and 5 p.m. – 1,100 in total. That means they’re not much safer being limited to driving to and from school each day.

What can you do to help your teen driver avoid a fatal accident? Here are a few suggestions giving by AAA that may help save your teens life.

  • While most states have laws that limit the number of passengers a new teen driver may have, make sure this law is a family rule. The more passengers a new driver has, the more likely they are to be involved in an accident.
  • Keep your teen from using the cell phone while driving, even the hands-free type. Even an experienced adult driver has trouble driving while talking on the phone.
  • Make sure your teen uses their seatbelt each time they ride in the car. Though teens feel invincible, we certainly are not. Teens have the highest crash rates, but yet the lowest rates of seatbelt usage.
  • Finally, make sure other adults in the family know the ground rules set. Tell the parents of your teen’s friends, or even your neighbors. If everyone keeps an eye on your teen’s driving habits, they are less likely to bend the rules and put themselves at a greater risk of a fatal accident.

If there are laws in your state limiting the hours your teen may drive, or the number of passengers they may carry while they are new to driving, you may feel your teen is much safer than others are. However, laws are still broken, so always monitor your teens driving and keep the ground rules firm. For more information, read the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Driver Education Handbook for Parents.